At present EU institutions and agencies as well as national legislators have ambitious agendas on law enforcement authorities’ access to interoperable information systems, which have become a defining feature of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). They are the most advanced form of information exchange, conferring direct information access to competent authorities. Interoperable information systems are intended for the exchange of raw material for investigation purposes, which at a later stage could become evidence at trial. Interoperable information systems challenge existing cooperation dynamics and redefine the role of the actors involved. It is questionable whether mutual recognition and approximation, which have been considered the cornerstone of judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal matters for many years, can describe alone integration dynamics in law enforcement cooperation, particularly with reference to information sharing. This article appraises whether, and to what extent, law enforcement access to and use of interoperable information systems constitute new modes of law enforcement cooperation in the EU AFSJ. It then assesses what would be the implications of such a paradigm shift on information management. After a short overview of the main features of interoperability, it addresses whether and how the establishment and functioning of interoperable information systems actually or potentially redefines the existing distribution of tasks between the EU and Member States and among competent authorities of different kinds.